Growing up in Cameroon, I did not have that much visibility into the wonders of conventional medicine. Many a time, family members will consult a traditional healer first, only after all else had failed will they make recourse to the “medicine of the white man”. Although I respect my traditions and revered my ancestors for using medicinal herbs to treat infectious diseases, I nonetheless believed in a better approach, modern and standardized.
I spent my childhood in Douala, on the Atlantic coast of Cameroon. As a child, after an almost fatal incident, my grandmother turned away from traditional medicines and I began to accompany her to the pharmacy. Because she did not speak French or English which are the two official languages of the country, I was the designated translator every time she went to fill her prescriptions from the only pharmacy which was at least a hundred miles away from our home. I remember being so little but so fascinated by this person in a white jacket behind his counter who explained things to me nicely so I could translate to my grandmother in her native tongue.
In middle school, when people asked me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I was already answering pharmacist. In the final year of secondary school, a classmate introduced to his parents who were pharmacists, after expressing my interest in the profession, they welcomed me every weekend at their pharmacy for rest of the academic year.
During this time, they made me discover the many facets of their profession. This exposure confirmed my choice to become a pharmacist so much that, after graduating high school back in Cameroon, with restricted access into the only pharmacy school in the region, I enroll into the Medical Laboratory Sciences program. After immigrating to the United States, and determined to become a pharmacist, I started to work as a nursing assistant, then as a medication administration technician in an assisted living home that improved my bedside manners and sharpened my interpersonal communication skills. I then joined the US Army where I served for 3 years and I intend to return to active duty as a skillful pharmacist, a career I know will give my life both meaning and satisfaction.
Beside a strong work ethic, my personal experiences and my strong commitment to improving the life of others make me a suitable candidate for the pharmacy program at LECOM. I know the program to be challenging, however I will confirm my capabilities through my performance and dedication to hard work if given the opportunity. I am certain that a PharmD degree will provide me with an outlet to make a difference in both my military and civilian communities contributing to the well-being of every patient by establishing long-term relationship which will allow me to become familiar with their medical history in order to better serve them.
I ultimately dream of becoming a hospital pharmacist, where I will be able to directly interact with patients and their families, caring for all their medication needs. I look forward to taking care of every patient as better as my grand-mother was taken care of each time we visited our local pharmacy in rural Africa.